On April 14, 2014, a school in Nigeria was raided by terrorists, and 300 school girls were kidnapped. More than 200 remain missing today, according to The New York Times. On April 16, 2014, MV Sewol, a South Korean ferry, capsized and 250 students and 11 teachers from the city of Ansan died. The city of 750,000 is still hurting.
“There is talk of recovery, but we are still far from that,” said Ansan’s major, Je Jong-geel.
When these two horrific events happened a year ago, many Christians gathered across the world to pray for those involved in the tragedies, but who is praying now, a year later?
Luke 18:1 says, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Jesus then proceeded to tell his disciples about a widow who persisted in asking a judge for legal protection from her opponent. Luke 18: 4-5 says, “And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”
Just as the widow wore the judge down by continually asking him to grant her legal protection, so God tells us Christians to wear Him down by persistently crying out to Him for help. While short-term prayer requests, such as tests or an upcoming job interview, may be easier to pray for because we know we will see God’s answer soon, praying for long-term requests can be tiring because we don’t know when God will answer.
Just as the school girls’ kidnapping and the capsized ferry tragedies have faded into the background for many Christians, perhaps we have let some of our own prayer requests fade into the background.
Do you have a family member who is an unbeliever? Is one of your friend’s going through a time of doubt? What about the orphanage in Mali that you used to pray for?
We must continue to pray for these long-term prayer requests because this shows that we have faith in God and in His perfect timing.
In Matthew 15, a woman comes to Jesus and asks that He cast out a demon from her daughter. His disciples asked Him to send her away, and Jesus told the woman that His blessings were meant for the people of Israel, not the Gentiles. But the woman persisted and asked for just a small portion of His power. And Jesus said to her:
“O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”